Bill Bryson was born in Iowa, but moved to Britain in 1973. He lived in the United Kingdom for over twenty years before returning to the United States with his English wife and family in tow. Notes from a Big Country is a collection of essays about his impressions of life in America. The book contains the best material from several years worth of his weekly column in a British magazine. Some of his themes are; Americans don’t walk enough, the American war against drugs, junk food as a blight on society, and the abundance of wild open space. His conversational writing style is enjoyable and perfect for this type of material.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
Everyone loved this book. We all had our favorite stories and pithy phrases. There was an interesting discussion about Bryson’s belief that American’s have no sense of irony. We thought that perhaps some aspects of our sense of humour and way of life in Canada is closer to Britain than to the United States. The Critics felt that the book is perfect to pick up when you only have time to read a few pages since the columns are short and you put it down with a smile on your face.